Song Lyric Sunday II: Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs, “Sugar Shack”

Seems that most of us (or a good number, anyway) had the same bright idea for today’s Song Lyric Sunday, the great standard "Java Jive." I went out this afternoon and looked at YouTube, and before I got too far this song popped into my head…

Thus spake Wikipedia:

"Sugar Shack" is a song written in 1962 by Keith McCormack. McCormack gave songwriting credit to his aunt, Faye Voss, after asking what are "those tight pants that girls wear" to which she replied "leotards". The song was recorded in 1963 by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico. The unusual and distinctive organ part was played by Petty on a Hammond Solovox, Model J. The original instrument is on display at the Norman Petty Studios today.

"Sugar Shack" hit No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 (where it spent five weeks from October 12 to November 9, 1963) and Cashbox singles charts (where it spent three weeks from October 19 to November 2, 1963). It ended up being Billboard’s number 1 song of 1963. ("Surfin’ U.S.A." was originally listed as the number 1 song of the year, but later lists place "Sugar Shack" at number one). Its run on the Billboard R&B chart was cut short because Billboard ceased publishing an R&B chart from November 30, 1963 to January 23, 1965. "Sugar Shack" has the distinction of being the last single to make it to No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart because Billboard did not publish an R&B chart for fourteen months. In Canada the song was No. 1, also for five weeks, from October 14 to November 11. On November 29, 1963, the song received RIAA certification for selling over a million copies, earning gold record status. In the UK, "Sugar Shack" also reached No. 45 on the Record Retailer chart. Gilmer and The Fireballs were the last American band to chart before Beatlemania hit.

The lyrics, from SongLyrics.com:

There’s a crazy little shack beyond the tracks
And ev’rybody calls it the sugar shack
Well, it’s just a coffeehouse and it’s made out of wood
Expresso coffee tastes mighty good
That’s not the reason why I’ve got to get back
To that sugar shack, whoa baby
To that sugar shack.

There’s this cute little girlie, she’s a’workin’ there
A black leotard and her feet are bare
I’m gonna drink a lotta coffee, spend a little cash
Make that girl love me when I put on some trash
You can understand why I’ve got to get back
To that sugar shack, whoa baby
To that sugar shack, yeah honey
To that sugar shack, whoa yes

To that sugar shack.

Now that sugar shack queen is a’married to me, yeah yeah
We just sit around and dream of those old memories
Ah, but one of these days I’m gonna lay down tracks
In the direction of that sugar shack
Just me and her yes we’re gonna go back
To that sugar shack,
Whoa uh oh
To that sugar shack, yeah honey
To our sugar shack

Yeh, yeh, yeh, our sugar shack

One day, I guess the world will figure out it’s espresso, not expresso, but anyway… That’s Song Lyric Sunday, Part 2, for March 7, 2021.

Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: The Manhattan Transfer, “Java Jive”

When I saw Jim’s theme for today, "Cappuccino, Coffee, Espresso, Latte, Mocha," I knew exactly what song I was going to use for today.

Wikipedia sez:

> "Java Jive" is a song written by Ben Oakland and Milton Drake in 1940 and most famously recorded by The Ink Spots. The lyrics speak of the singer’s love of coffee. The lyrics also reflect the slang of the day, including a reference to "Mr. Moto", a Japanese film spy. The Ink Spots’ 1940 recording of the song reached #17 on the US Pop charts and is considered by many to be the definitive version. The Song is also heard in the 1942 movie In This Our Life.

> The Manhattan Transfer also performed it on various occasions, including Camera Three (1974), The Mike Douglas Show (1974), The Two Ronnies (1978), and recorded a popular version of the song in 1975.

> The song has been extensively recorded over the years, with notable performances by Guy Lombardo and The King Sisters.

Here’s The Manhattan Transfer, from 1975. Tim Hauser (in the yellow jacket) sings lead, with Laurel Massé (in the black dress) singing a verse, and Janis Siegel and Alan Paul sing backup.

The lyrics, from Lyrics.com:

I love coffee, I love tea
I love the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the jiving and me
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
I love java, sweet and hot
Whoops! Mr. Moto, I’m a coffee pot
Shoot me the pot and I’ll pour me a shot
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
Oh, slip me a slug from the wonderful mug
And I cut a rug till I’m snug in a jug
A slice of onion and a raw one, draw one.

Waiter, waiter, percolator!
I love coffee, I love tea
I love the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the jiving and me
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
Boston bean, soy bean
Lima bean, string bean.
You know that I’m not keen for a bean
Unless it is a cheery coffee bean.

I love coffee, I love tea
I love the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the jiving and me
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
I love java, sweet and hot
Whoops! Mr. Moto, I’m a coffee pot
Shoot me the pot and I’ll pour me a shot
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup!
Oh, slip me a slug from the wonderful mug
And I cut a rug till I’m snug in a jug
Drop me a nickel in my pot, Joe, Taking it slow.

Waiter, waiter, percolator!
I love coffee, I love tea
I love the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the jiving and me
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday and Song of the Day for March 7, 2020.

Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: B. J. Thomas, “Mighty Clouds of Joy”

This week, Jim asked for songs with "breeze, cloud, sky, wind" in the title, lyrics, or songs that strongly suggest them otherwise. I’m going with a song with a spiritual bent.

I’ve always liked the song "Mighty Clouds of Joy" as sung by B. J. Thomas. It was written by Buddy Buie (who worked with Roy Orbison, Classics IV, and Atlanta Rhythm Section) and Robert Nix, who was ARS’s drummer, and was recorded by B. J. in 1971 for his album Greatest Hits, Vol. 2. It reached #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #34 on the Hot 100 in the US, and #25 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #26 on the Hot Canadian Singles chart in Canada.

The lyrics are from MetroLyrics:

Those old bad dreams
Been sleeping in your head
Those old dark clouds
Been hanging around your head
But all your hard times
Will vanish in the wind
When the mighty clouds of joy
Come rolling in
Ohhhh, Holy Jesus
Let your love seize us
Oh, let us find sweet peace within
Hallelujah!
Happiness begins,
When the mighty clouds of joy
Come rolling in.
Those old storm clouds
Are slowly drifting by
And those old raindrops
Are fading from your eyes
And oh, Mr. Sun,
Gonna shine on us again
When the mighty clouds of joy
Come rolling in
Ohhhh, Holy Jesus
Let your love seize us
Oh, let us find sweet peace within
Hallelujah!
Happiness begins,
When the mighty clouds of joy
Come rolling in
Holy Jesus
Won’t you let your love seize us
Let us find sweet peace within
Hallelujah!
Happiness begins,
When the mighty clouds of joy
Come rolling in

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for February 28, 2021.

Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: The Beatles, “Long, Long, Long”

Jim’s prompt for today is "Long, Short, Small, Tall," and my choice is The Beatles’ "Long, Long, Long."

George Harrison wrote this on the band’s trip to Rishikesh, India to study under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968. He had just recommitted himself to playing the guitar after a couple of years spent mastering the sitar, and was especially inspired by Bob Dylan’s album Blonde On Blonde, the only record he brought with him on the trip. George experienced a musical "growth spurt" while he was in India; Wikipedia tells us "Donovan, the Scottish singer-songwriter who joined in the Beatles’ musical activities in Rishikesh, recalled that Harrison played both sitar and guitar at the ashram and was developing a style of music that became ‘the finest spiritual sound’." The chord changes in the song were based on those from Dylan’s "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," and its laid-back arrangement shows the influence of The Band’s Music From Big Pink.

Reviews were generally mixed, with some saying it was one of the best songs on the album, while others being totally underwhelmed by it. While at first you get the impression that he’s addressing a woman, George said he was addressing God.

The lyrics are from Genius:

It’s been a long, long, long time
How could I ever have lost you
When I loved you?

It took a long, long, long time
Now I’m so happy I found you
How I love you

So many tears I was searching
So many tears I was wasting, oh, oh

Now I can see you, be you
How can I ever misplace you?
How I want you
Oh, I love you
You know that I need you
Oh, how I love you

That’s Song Lyric Ssunday and Song of the Day for February 21, 2021.